Important Employment Law Changes for 2020

Rebecca Blair |


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Every HR team knows that when April comes around, there is a good chance that a few significant changes will need to be made to their internal processes.

Employment laws are passed to manage the relationship between the employer and employee, and these ensure that both the employer and employee know their rights in the workplace.

As April has now arrived, read on for our guide to some of the employment law changes that will be coming into force this month – it’s always best to be prepared!

National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage

Each year the Government changes the National Living Wage based on the average cost of living. From 1st April, the National Minimum Wage has risen from £8.21 to £8.72 per hour for employees aged 25 and over. So, any worker who is being paid the National Living Wage will be entitled to a higher pay from this month onwards. In addition, the National Minimum Wage has also increased for workers aged under 25, with 21-24-year-olds now entitled to a minimum wage of £8.20 per hour, and 18-20-year-olds entitled to a minimum of £6.45 per hour. These changes will also affect workers aged under 18, and apprentices too.

Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay

Parental Bereavement Leave is something that no one wants to deal with, however, it is a valuable benefit for employees if they ever have to take time off work as a bereaved parent. Previously, parents who had lost a child were only given two days compassionate leave. However, moving forward, any worker who loses a child under 18 can take two statutory weeks off from work. This will give many people peace of mind, knowing that they have support from their employer, giving them time to properly grieve their loss.

Changes to written statements of employment particulars

By law, employees must receive a statement of employment particulars within the first two months of employment which contains details such as their job description, salary, and hours of work. However, new legislation introduced in April means that these must now be given to employees before their first day at work. There is extra information required for these statements too, like details of benefits, training providers, and the specific days/weeks the employee is required to work and how these may change. This is something that HR professionals will have to consider when onboarding new employees.

Right to Work changes

Recently, there have been some changes made to Right to Work checks. Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, these checks can now take place online through video calls and documents can be sent electronically.

Changes to Holiday Calculations

For zero hour contract employees, their annual leave entitlement is calculated using an average figure based on the previous 12-week period of employment. However, moving forward, this will change and employers will calculate employees' annual leave based on their 52 weeks in employment.

And finally, one to look out for...

Although no date has been set yet, the Good Work Plan set out how the Government is committed to passing new regulations to help parents of premature babies who need specialist neonatal care. The parents of these children will have their standard maternity and paternity pay, but they will also receive 12 weeks' paid leave so that they can focus on supporting their child.

New legislation means that changes will need to be done quickly. However, with the help of intelligent, automation-led HR software, making these adjustments should be easy!

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